Canon EOS SL1 Review

In my countless years of traveling, I have always embraced the idea of moving around with my camera. But as technology changes so does my preference and expectations of what actually makes a great travel camera. The best thing this dSLR has going for it is its size.  The Canon EOS SL1 is smaller and even lighter than its predecessors making it the perfect camera for travel. The image quality is as good as Canon’s best, plus the SL1 is Canon’s least expensive DSLR. So if you’re interested in a great camera to take traveling, I believe the Canon EOS SL1 is a safe bet and it won’t break the bank.


It’s the smallest DSLR in the word, and also the cheapest so far. In terms of the technical aspects the SL1 is more than satisfactory. I do like that it has a built in flash, which lacks on the fairly expensive models, such as 5D Mark III or even Canon ID X.

I realize it’s on camera flash but when you’re trying to travel light sometimes the pop up flash can come in handy when you don’t have a Speedlight.  I’ve achieved some descent results in daylight conditions using this little flash as a fill.

This camera also has automatic lens correction, just like the high end versions of Canon and others. It comes with powerful image sensors and processors like those found in expensive models. You’ll also realize that the EOS SL1 has a fairly large view on the viewfinder.


In the USA, it’s called the Canon Digital Rebel SL1. In Japan, it’s called The Kiss x7, and in the rest of the world, they know it as EOS-100D.

I bought mine with the 18-55mm kit lens, so far nothing bad to say about it.  It’s pretty basic but good for landscapes and just an overall useful lens to carry.

Image Quality

This is an 18MP CMOS camera with 5,184 x 3,456 pixels native. The clean sensor boasts of 1.6X crop factor, 3.2 aspect ratio, 14-bit AD conversion, white/amber/blue/green/magenta plus or minus 9 balances, plus it supports SRGB or Adobe RGB.

Image sizes range between large, medium and small. Large & raw means working with 5,184 x 3,456 pixels, which is pretty the same as that produced by Canon 1D x. Medium means 3,456 x 2,304 pixels, and small means 2,592 x 1,728 pixels, 1,920 x 1,280 pixels and 720 x 480 pixels respectively.

The SL1 remarkably reduces shot noise while trying to preserve key details in high ISO speeds with an outstanding ISO range between 100 and 12,800. However, you can set the camera to reach for an amazing ISO 25,600.  I wouldn’t expect great results though as the images can be pretty grainy. Auto ISO gives you a chance to select between 100-6400 for both photos and video.  You can achieve ISO 12,800 in video but again, image quality suffers.

This camera shoots at 4fps which isn’t bad and can help out while shooting action scenes.

Finally, lens compatibility should least bother you because it’s compatible with all Canon lenses manufactured since 1987. It is also fine to use all EF-S lenses that have been manufactured since the year 2002.

Image sharpness is superb – similar to every other DSLR owned by Canon, regardless of size or even format.


This DSLR is one of the best cameras for travel photography because it’s light and compact.  It’s truly one of the smallest and cheapest among quality DSLR cameras you’ll find in the market. It weighs 403g only (with battery and card included). This is way below the rated 408g, stripped!

In other words, you can carry it around comfortably without feeling the weight.

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed ranges from 1/4000 of a second for those times you need to freeze action to 30 seconds (think tripod low light).  The shutter is rated at 1/200 flash sync but with an external manual flash unit 1/320 is fine.

Viewfinder or LCD

LCDs can be hard to use during outdoor activities in the sun, Canon has improved on this with their SL1 DSLR camera. This is a 3 inch TFT screen (with capacitive touch). It offers up to 170 degrees viewing angle and is adjustable to one of seven brightness levels. This LCD has an anti-smudge coating but unfortunately doesn’t feature the anti-reflective coating.  Honestly, when taking photos I mostly just use the viewfinder.

Battery Life, Wifi and GPS

The Canon SL1 uses a slightly different battery from its larger counterparts. I heard someone say that it runs forever – that he has since done over 900 shots, including videos, and the first bar on the screen has just disappeared on the battery icon. This is good for a camera rated 450 shots per charge, isn’t it?

Finally, it doesn’t have WiFi or GPS capabilities but this isn’t really something I ever used anyway.

Published in Travel Photography, Travel Photography Gear Reviews

Share this article and leave your comments below

Meet the Author

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *